New contract for Glendora’s chief cuts benefits

Went over the new contract for Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro who was approved by the council Tuesday.

Highlights include:

- No administrative leave time
- Base salary of roughly $180,000 a year
- Vacation capped at 200 hours, will accrue at the rate of 176 hours
- If he is terminated, will receive 6 months severance.
- Will pay full share of the employee portion of CALPERS.

Background: Former chief Montoya cashed out $80,000 in unused leave time when he retired in 2009. He credited the ability to use administrative leave in place of vacation in order to save it.

Full story in tomorrow’s paper.

Car allowances in Alhambra, San Gabriel and La Habra

Just to follow up on the car allowance stories we have been running in the paper that showed El Monte spending about $228,000 a year on the benefit and Pasadena nearly $300,000, I just got a reply from Alhambra showing the cities spending amounts.

Only two employees receive car allowances, one for $500 to city manager and a $150 allowance for assistant city manager. The city does provide quite a few cars for 22 employees. The newest car is a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid for the planning director worth about $20,000, according to city estimates. Another two Ford F-150s are worth just over $20,000. The remainder of the vehicles are Ford Crown Victorias that are about eight or nine years old. Most of the vehicles are older and worth around $5,000.

In San Gabriel, the city spends about $23,400 a year on car allowances and then owns about $30,000 worth in city take-home vehicles for five city employees. The car allowances are $450 to four executives, the deputy city clerk, the city manager, the Mission Playhouse manager, and the community development director.

In La Habra, a city of about 60,000 people, the city spends $45,300 annually on car allowances for 12 employees, including the city clerk, the assistant city manager, two finance administrators, and several planning or engineering officials. In addition, the police chief, two police captains, the director of community services and the city manager each have a take-home Crown Victoria – none newer than 2002. The water/sewer manager has a 2007 Ford F-150 and the street maintenance supervisor has a 1997 Ford Ranger.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Add one more to the list of potential Glendora, Azusa council candidates

I can’t tell you how much I am excited for the upcoming city council elections in March. There are so many story lines for two of the cities I cover in races that should be highly competitive.

In Azusa, the Azusa Rock Quarry referendum and the project’s general implications should make for some fireworks for councilman Angel Carrillo and Urial Macias, both seeking reelection. The election may also test the power of Mayor Joe Rocha.

Former planning commissioner Jorge Rosales is planning to kick of his campaign in two weeks on Saturday Dec. 11. You may know Jorge through his involvement with Azusans Against Mining Expansion or as the guy who takes pictures at every city function. He also happens to be buds with Mayor Rocha.

Also in the mix is Peggy Martinez, a former Downtown Azusa Business Association director, who is a fixture in the city, and Paul Naccachian, who ran and lost two years ago but has become more prominent and vocal in the community on the Vulcan issue as well as others, such as bicycle helmet safety. The newest name on that list is Madelyn Payne, chair of the city library commission and president of the Friends of the Library group.

And then there is Glendora. With recent revelations about their city manager having left Monterey Park four years ago with about $500,000 in unused leave time and their own city’s issues with benefits as shown when their police chief retired in 2009, there is some ammunition for potential candidates against incumbents Doug Tessitor and Ken Herman.

Plus, the city has butted heads with its employee union over employee compensation. The city has taken a hard line against benefits for employees, including the way the CALPERS retirement plan is funded. That could play well with voters, but if the unions are pitted against the incumbents, campaign contributions could favor contenders.

As for the update on potential challengers in Glendora, I have already reported that Jason Nagy, John Fields, Ed Brubaker and Erica Landmann-Johnsey previously pulled papers. Now you can add Joe Santoro to the list.

The deadline for papers to be filed is still about two weeks away and I expect a few more names to be added to the list before it is all said and done.

Consider this: When Gary Clifford resigned from the council earlier this year, the council had 15 applicants for the position. They chose Terry Kent who pledged to not run for council. That means, besides the two incumbent positions, there is an open slot on this council. New blood is coming in and someone can run and not have to challenge the incumbents to do it. I expect a big field.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

A tale of two letters: Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers vs. employee association’s Wendell Phillips

In tomorrow’s paper there will be a story on the failed negotiations between Glendora city staff and the general municipal employees association and how it will now be incumbent upon the council to make a decision Tuesday night.

The two groups have been going at it for months now, and it doesn’t appear that the attorney for the employees association Wendell Phillips and Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers get along very well.

While the pair have traded subtle barbs at each other in articles in the newspaper and with the way negotiations turned out, those don’t seem to have been tea and crumpets type meetings either.

Now we have two letters, both sent to Glendora employees, one from Jeffers, one from Phillips, at the apex of this battle.

Take a look and tell me what you think. Phillips’ letter is decidedly more aggressive and is a rebuttal to Jeffers. It goes as far as to call Jeffers petulant.

Jeffers letter has a political tone. It paints a picture of today’s environment for public employees, is trying to sway opinion in favor of the city’s efforts, and makes a case that the employees association’s negotiators are being unreasonable.

Both seem to use taxpayer angry against public officials/employees to their advantage.

What do you think? Who makes the better argument?

FYI: Both letters were obtained anonymously, but were both confirmed to exist by Jeffers and Phillips.

Glendora Chris Jeffers letter.doc
Glendora employees association attorney letter.doc

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune